Winter session of Parliament faces delay as election campaign warms up
The winter Session of Parliament, which usually begins around the third week of November, is likely to be put off till campaigning ends for the last phase of the Gujarat assembly elections next month, said top sources in the government.
Since campaigning for the two-phase Gujarat elections ends on December 12, this would mean a considerable delay. The Winter Session usually begins in the second half of November, a couple of weeks after Diwali. With Diwali on October 19 this year, political circles have been anticipating a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) to decide the Winter Session dates for a while now.
As per the rules, the dates have to be announced at least 15 days before the session starts, giving MPs enough time to reach Delhi from their respective constituencies. “There will be a substantial delay in the Winter Session of Parliament. It does not seem like the session will start this month. There are indications that the session may actually start after the last day of campaigning in Gujarat, which is on December 12,” said a highly placed source.
Last year, the Winter Session began a little early, on November 16, in order to expedite passage of the GST Bill and to make way for an early Budget Session, so that the Budget date could be preponed to February 1 instead of the end of the month.
While the BJP is upbeat about both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Opposition has been highlighting issues like post-demonetisation job losses and post-GST slide in business. Sources said sections of the BJP felt that convening the Winter Session at such a time would provide a national platform for the Opposition to raise these issues, just ahead of the Gujarat elections.
Meanwhile, the Congress accused the government of running away from Parliament. “The Prime Minister is running away from Parliament and debates. He is scared to face Parliament before the Gujarat elections. What is happening is an assault on democracy. The government is also apparently abusing its authority and delaying the release of the GDP second-quarter numbers,” said Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma.
campaigning -चुनाव प्रचार
accused -अभियुक्त,अपराधी ठहराया हुआ
apparently -जाहिरा तौर पर
By Lokesh Saini
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